This is the BEST time to plant the gift of the Gods – GARLIC!
Garlic is winter hardy, grows easily, and takes up very little space in a garden. An ancient bulbous vegetable, it grows from a single clove that multiplies in the ground. Most people grow it as an annual, but if you harvest only the big plants and leave behind the small ones, you’ll have a perennial garlic that regrows every year.
It prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil and grows best in moist, well-drained, loose, and sandy conditions. The loose soil allows the bulbs to easily grow without damaging the papery skin that protects the garlic bulb from rot. That said, it is tolerant of a variety of soil types, except for heavy clay. Garlic grows best in full sun.
Garlic is hardy (even in extreme cold) but it still needs protection. Applying a cover of mulch helps it weather long, cold winters, SO DON”T FORGET THIS, right after you plant to help insulate your bulbs and keep weeds to a minimum. The colder the winter, the more mulch you should pile on. You can keep mulch in place after spring to limit weeds. For Hardneck varieties, you’ll notice a round, leafless flower stem emerging from the center of the leaves about three weeks before harvest. This is the scape. Some growers cut off scapes to produce a more robust bulb. If left uncut, garlic scapes will bloom into pretty, whitish-pink pom-poms that our BEES love.
Garlic grows well in light, sandy soils but still needs to be watered frequently in spring drought conditions to promote healthy root development. Once the garlic is established, garlic can tolerate Placerville’s occasional drought conditions.
I make planting Garlic part of my Thanksgiving routine every year: Garlic in our turkey, garlic in the ground.